Formula 1 mid-season review: Ferrari

Formula 1 mid-season review: Ferrari

6 August 2014 – As the Formula 1 fraternity enjoys the summer break, GPUpdate.net takes the opportunity to analyse team and driver performances over the first 11 rounds of the 2014 season. In the latest instalment, we discuss Ferrari's new direction, an over-performing Fernando Alonso and an underwhelming Kimi Räikkönen.

Ferrari: 6/10

As one of only two teams – along with Mercedes – to design and manufacture its own engine, hopes were high in the Ferrari camp ahead of the latest turbocharged era. The F14 T would also be the first car for which highly-rated Technical Director James Allison had any real input, while Kimi Räikkönen joined Fernando Alonso over the winter to form an all-champion line-up. But it soon became clear that the Scuderia lacked performance, not only on the power front but also in terms of its chassis. "I don't like seeing Ferrari in this condition," said President Luca di Montezemolo after the opening three rounds. This led to then team boss Stefano Domenicali resigning, with Marco Mattiacci being brought in to find a new direction. A first podium finish of the season conveniently coincided with his arrival in China, but it has been a more challenging journey since then. Mid-range points finishes have become the norm, largely courtesy of Alonso who has better adapted to a sensitive car than Räikkönen. Mattiacci's changes will not produce a significant impact until 2015 at the earliest, but the first signs are there. Heading into the summer break, employees will be buoyed by the best combined result of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari showed the world that it still has the strategic nous to fight at the front, providing Alonso with the platform to claim second and very nearly the race victory.

Fernando Alonso: 9/10

Alonso has been one of the stars of the field so far this season, despite being handed another Ferrari unable to challenge, on merit, at the front of the field. He has claimed both of the teams' podium finishes, calmly keeping Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at bay in China and finishing second to the Australian after a close fight at the Hungaroring. And he has finished inside the top 10 at the other nine races, a statistic not even the dominant Mercedes drivers can boast. While Räikkönen sits 12th in the standings, Alonso holds fourth with more than four times the points total. In the process, the Spaniard is adding to his already supreme reputation, but that will give him little satisfaction. In his own words, he wants more world titles, not respect. And at the age of 33, he does not have much more time to wait for capable machinery. Perhaps the biggest question mark as the campaign develops is whether or not Alonso will choose to remain in Ferrari colours next year. A contract is in place, but they are nowadays riddled with performance clauses. Most rival teams would jump at the opportunity to hire him. A massive decision awaits.

Kimi Räikkönen: 5/10

On the back of two impressive seasons with Lotus, which saw him notch up a pair of victories and 13 further podiums, all eyes were on Räikkönen and what he could do against former nemesis Alonso. But it has so far been one of his most frustrating terms in the sport. He has particularly struggled to gain a comfortable feeling with the front-end of Ferrari's latest design, in turn affecting his ability to get Pirelli's various compounds working within their optimal windows. This has shown in both qualifying and the races. While Alonso has missed out on the final shootout just once, Räikkönen has failed to make it through on five occasions. And on Sundays, sixth place is the best on his list of seven finishes. This is in stark contrast to his team-mate's points-packed 100 per cent record. Adding to his woes, the former World Champion was hit with a wall of criticism after an uncharacteristically clumsy move at Silverstone, when he attempted to rejoin the track with his foot flat to the floor, only to hit a bump and snap into the barriers. In a typically monotone response in Hungary, Räikkönen admitted that there have been no highlights on his return to Maranello. Although there are reasons behind his struggle, he is in need of making some positive memories over the final eight races.

Do you agree with GPUpdate.net's ratings? Join in the discussion via the Facebook panel below

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 2 October 2014

  2. 06:10

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Suzuka

    F1
  3. Stevens to get FP1 outing with Marussia 06:08

    Stevens to get FP1 outing with Marussia

    Will Stevens will take part in the opening practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix with Marussia. The Briton has...

    F1
  4. Feature: The 10 best corners in Formula 1 06:03

    Feature: The 10 best corners in Formula 1

    Suzuka is annually hailed as one of the greatest circuits in Formula 1, possessing an array of exciting corners and...

    F1
  5. Suzuka memories: Alonso's 130R pass 05:09

    Suzuka memories: Alonso's 130R pass

    Fernando Alonso passes Michael Schumacher on the outside of 130R at the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix.

    F1
  6. Wednesday 1 October 2014

  7. Caterham says it is operating as normal 21:05

    Caterham says it is operating as normal

    The Caterham F1 team says its Leafield base continues to operate as normal and preparations are ongoing for this weekend's...

    F1
  8. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Japanese GP 18:05

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Japanese GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli previews this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

    F1
  9. Hugo Boss switches from McLaren to Mercedes 17:15

    Hugo Boss switches from McLaren to Mercedes

    Hugo Boss will become a team partner of the Mercedes Formula 1 team next season, it has been confirmed. The announcement,...

    F1
  10. Viñales: I thought Suzuki approach was a joke 16:18

    Viñales: I thought Suzuki approach was a joke

    Maverick Viñales says "it felt like it was a joke" when he was first approached by Suzuki to join the Japanese manufacturer...

    MotoGP
  11. Räikkönen 'finally' has good feeling with car 15:05

    Räikkönen 'finally' has good feeling with car

    Kimi Räikkönen is in an optimistic frame of mind ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix after finally finding the sweet spot with h...

    F1
  12. Column: 'The rise and rise' of Max Verstappen 14:30

    Column: 'The rise and rise' of Max Verstappen

    Just a year ago Max Verstappen was the man to beat in the international karting scene. This weekend he will make his Friday...

    F1
  13. Video: Rosberg previews the Japanese GP 13:30

    Video: Rosberg previews the Japanese GP

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg looks ahead to this weekend's Japanese round at Suzuka.

    F1
  14. Sauber ceases de Silvestro driving programme 13:00

    Sauber ceases de Silvestro driving programme

    Sauber has terminated Simona de Silvestro's driving programme due to "financial reasons on her side", the team has confirmed...

    F1
  15. Honda: No decision yet on 2015 drivers 12:55

    Honda: No decision yet on 2015 drivers

    McLaren has not yet made a decision on its driver line-up for 2015, Honda's Head of Motorsport Yasuhisa Arai has...

    F1
  16. Petrucci signs two-year deal with Pramac 12:34

    Petrucci signs two-year deal with Pramac

    Danilo Petrucci will join the Pramac Racing Team next season, linking up with Yonny Hernández. The 23-year-old Italian,...

    MotoGP
  17. Salo named as Suzuka driver steward 11:30

    Salo named as Suzuka driver steward

    Mika Salo will be the FIA driver steward for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Salo, who is a regular in the...

    F1
  18. Honda reveals first image of new F1 engine 10:36

    Honda reveals first image of new F1 engine

    Honda has released the first image of its 2015 Formula 1 power unit on the eve of this weekend's Japanese Grand...

    F1
  19. Stewart: Verstappen can be a superstar 09:52

    Stewart: Verstappen can be a superstar

    Sir Jackie Stewart believes Max Verstappen can be a "young superstar", providing the 17-year-old can deal with the pressure...

    F1
  20. Kobayashi keeps Caterham seat for Suzuka 08:18

    Kobayashi keeps Caterham seat for Suzuka

    Kamui Kobayashi will retain his Caterham seat for his home race at Suzuka this weekend, alongside regular driver Marcus...

    F1
  21. Suzuka memories: Häkkinen vs Schumacher 05:04

    Suzuka memories: Häkkinen vs Schumacher

    Relive the final battle between Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher during the 2001 Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher,...

    F1
  22. Tuesday 30 September 2014

  23. Renault braced for engine penalties 16:03

    Renault braced for engine penalties

    Renault says it is braced for a spate of engine penalties in the closing stages of the 2014 season. Toro Rosso rookie...

    F1
  24. 14:30

    MotoGP photos: Suzuki presents 2015 bike

    MotoGP
  25. Suzuki signs Aleix Espargaró, Viñales for 2015 13:28

    Suzuki signs Aleix Espargaró, Viñales for 2015

    Suzuki has signed Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales for its comeback MotoGP season in 2015. The Japanese manufacturer,...

    MotoGP
  26. Video: Force India drivers preview Suzuka 11:59

    Video: Force India drivers preview Suzuka

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Japanese Grand Prix.

    F1
  27. Ferrari 'determined' to overhaul Williams 11:55

    Ferrari 'determined' to overhaul Williams

    Ferrari says it is "determined" to reclaim third in the Constructors' standings during the season run-in. With five...

    F1
  28. Formula E chief outlines manufacturer plan 11:33

    Formula E chief outlines manufacturer plan

    Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has set out plans for the new all-electric championship to progressively move away from its...

    Formula E
  29. Button says McLaren on 'upward curve' 10:03

    Button says McLaren on 'upward curve'

    Jenson Button believes that his McLaren team is on an "upward curve" with the development of the MP4-29 chassis, even though...

    F1
  30. Suzuka memories: Senna, Prost collide, 1990 05:07

    Suzuka memories: Senna, Prost collide, 1990

    A year after their infamous clash as McLaren team-mates, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost collide at the first corner of the...

    F1
  31. Monday 29 September 2014

  32. Video: Sainz Jr. inspects shopping mall 16:24

    Video: Sainz Jr. inspects shopping mall

    Carlos Sainz Jr. carries out a unique inspection of the Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi ahead of its opening in November.

    F1
  33. Penske adds Pagenaud as fourth driver 15:25

    Penske adds Pagenaud as fourth driver

    Simon Pagenaud will drive a fourth Penske car in 2015, the reigning champion team has announced. The 30-year-old...

    Indy
  34. Video: Rossi crashes out at Aragón 14:09

    Video: Rossi crashes out at Aragón

    Valentino Rossi avoided serious injury during this violent crash in Sunday's Aragón Grand Prix.

    MotoGP
  35. Rossi back to '100 per cent' after crash 13:55

    Rossi back to '100 per cent' after crash

    Valentino Rossi says he is already feeling "100 per cent" again after his Aragón Grand Prix crash. The works Yamaha rider...

    MotoGP
  36. Hamilton yearning for first Suzuka win 11:58

    Hamilton yearning for first Suzuka win

    Lewis Hamilton has his sights fixed on claiming his first ever victory at the Suzuka circuit this weekend. Although...

    F1
  37. Verstappen confirmed for Suzuka practice 11:19

    Verstappen confirmed for Suzuka practice

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that future racer Max Verstappen will drive at a Formula 1 event for the first time this weekend,...

    F1
  38. Single DRS zone retained at Suzuka 11:11

    Single DRS zone retained at Suzuka

    The FIA has retained a single DRS zone for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. As in previous years at the Suzuka...

    F1
  39. Force India continuing to develop VJM07 10:49

    Force India continuing to develop VJM07

    Force India boss Vijay Mallya says the team will continue to develop the VJM07 chassis over the closing stages of the 2014...

    F1
  40. Verstappen passes extensive medical tests 09:41

    Verstappen passes extensive medical tests

    Max Verstappen has passed an extensive medical evaluation as preparations ramp up for his maiden Formula 1 campaign with...

    F1
  41. Suzuka memories: Räikkönen's last-lap pass 05:12

    Suzuka memories: Räikkönen's last-lap pass

    Kimi Räikkönen claimed victory at Suzuka in 2005 with this stunning last-lap move on Giancarlo Fisichella.

    F1
  42. Sunday 28 September 2014

  43. 17:05

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  44. Rossi suffers concussion in Aragón crash 16:22

    Rossi suffers concussion in Aragón crash

    Valentino Rossi suffered a concussion but escaped serious injury following his crash in the Aragón Grand Prix on...

    MotoGP
  45. Lorenzo wins epic dry-wet race at Aragón 13:53

    Lorenzo wins epic dry-wet race at Aragón

    Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first win of 2014 in an epic dry-wet race at MotorLand Aragón after Repsol Honda riders Marc...

    MotoGP
more news